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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Division of Youth and Family Services v. J.L. and T.L., In the Matter of the Guardianship of O.L.

06-05-08 A-5490-06T4

In child abuse cases, the burden-shifting rule of In re D.T., 229 N.J. Super. 509 (App. Div. 1988), applies only where a limited number of people had access to the child at the time abuse definitively occurred. Otherwise, traditional res ipsa loquitur principles apply, and once DYFS establishes a prima facie case of abuse under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.46a(2), the burden of going forward with evidence shifts to the defendants, but the burden of persuasion remains on DYFS.